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Victoria City Council, District 4 candidate questionnaires

By Victoria Advocate
May 1, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.

David Hagan

Editor's Note: Early voting is April 30-May 8 for the May 12 city election. To help our readers learn more about candidates in the contested races, we will publish responses to the League of Women Voters questionnaire. Candidates David Hagan and Lewis Neitsch respond today.

• Name: David Hagan

• Age: 44

• City/county of residence: Victoria

• Occupation: Recruiting coordinator for Regency Nursing & Rehabilitation Centers, Inc.

Background and Qualifications:

Married for 20 years and has two children. He's an executive with a $200 million per year nursing home company and has served on the City Council since 2006. He holds degrees in Public Administration and a Master of Divinity. He is a member of Northside Baptist Church.

Why are you seeking this office?

During the last six years, I have become known as the Victoria City Council member who stands up and fights for the taxpayer - the member of the council who has been willing to stand alone against the runaway and wasteful spending that is so often proposed by some on council. I have a proven track record on accountability when tax dollars are spent. I would like to be re-elected so that I can continue to fight on behalf of the average hard working Victoria taxpayer.

What is your vision for this community and what steps would you take to get us there?

My vision for the community would be to protect its greatest asset its citizens - the taxpayers who fund the city and keep it strong. For too long, the city council has turned a deaf ear to the taxpayers and their wishes. Too many times, the city council has increased the tax burden on our citizens and voted to fund wasteful projects even when the overwhelming majority of taxpayers have said no. My vision for our community is one where we restore the trust of our hard working citizens and taxpayers by listening to them and respecting their wishes.

What challenges does our community face and how would you address them?

I believe the greatest challenges facing Victoria are reducing wasteful spending and reducing the tax burden on our citizens. Victoria city government must live within its means just as you and I do. Especially during tough economic times, the city council must prioritize city spending and fund first those projects that are most important to our citizens like police, fire, and EMS protections. As a city councilman, I never forget that it's not the city's money that I am voting to spend, but rather it's the taxpayer's.

What opportunities do you see for the city to increase revenues and reduce expenses?

I believe we can increase revenue by continuing to attract outside business to invest in our community. Regarding reducing expenditures we need to stop funding unnecessary projects. We need to stop funding new projects that will have maintenance expenditures that go on indefinitely. For example, we are blessed with nice parks in Victoria. We currently are having difficulty maintaining the ones we have and still you hear some dreaming about building new parks.

• Name: Lewis Neitsch

• Age: 67

• City/county of residence: Victoria

• Occupation: Business owner

Background and qualifications:

Conservative businessman of 44 years. Long time resident of Victoria. Small business owner who understands need for employment and tax revenue. My company has provided steady employment for families along with generating tax dollars needed to support our community. I have an in depth understanding of management, and fiscal responsibility.

This answer was cut because it exceeded the word limit.

Why are you seeking this office?

Victoria is in an economic upturn and we need qualified leadership to represent my district and the city. With proven past experience, I'm the best candidate for this office. I'm dedicated to work hard to enhance economic growth, keep tax rates low, improve our infrastructure and find new resources to keep costs down.

What is your vision for this community and what steps would you take to get us there?

My vision of Victoria is to continue providing economic growth and see an expansion of our new tax base. Victoria needs to be proactive instead of reactive. We need to continue seeing growth in our workforce, which provides economic stimulus stability. This is always a win-win situation for us all. The future presents our city with challenges in the coming years. I believe I can be a great asset in its future. I will work hard with all of the City council to make Victoria attractive for everyone. Most importantly, my role will be to hear you and serve you.

What challenges does our community face and how would you address them?

Challenges with the growth of our city are ample housing, good schools, educated workforce and good infrastructure to support the influx of families moving in. We need to encourage developers to look at Victoria as a prime location for their economic developments. The city has available tools to help developers with planning and permitting. We need to make the most of those tools to persuade companies to relocate to our city. With the expansion of our educational system we can provide industries with an educated workforce. Victoria youth can look to the future knowing they have great job opportunities.

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What opportunities do you see for the city to increase revenues and reduce expenses?

Seeking new opportunities to increase city revenues is to continue strengthening our economic growth using sound fiscal management along with future improvement of our community's infrastructure. We can cut costs through new technology and work as a team providing essential services in a high quality, consistent cost effective manner.

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